SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A woman has filed a civil lawsuit against Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo claiming he intended to sexually assault her when he showed up at her house in his socks and underwear in 2013.
The woman, Carrillo’s former west Santa Rosa neighbor identified only as Jane Doe, is seeking $2.5 million in damages against the 5th District supervisor, who was arrested by Santa Rosa police on July 13, 2013.
He was charged with misdemeanor peeking and was acquitted on April 28 by a Sonoma County jury of attempted peeking. The jury was deadlocked on the more serious peeking charge.
Doe is claiming negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual assault, and private nuisance.
At Carrillo’s criminal trial, Doe testified she woke up around 3:30 a.m. on July 13 when she heard her bedroom blinds rustling and went to her living room where two female guests were sleeping.
She said when she looked out the window, she saw a “very scary, large and muscular” man and she and her friends armed themselves with kitchen knives.
Doe said she heard a knock on the door, asked who it was, and a man responded, “It’s your neighbor.” She said the man said he wanted “a drink,” and she told him to wait a minute, then police arrived soon after.
Doe testified she didn’t know the man was Carrillo, whom she was acquainted with, until police shined a flashlight in the man’s face outside of her home.
In her civil suit, Doe claims she suffered a host of adverse emotions including shock, extreme emotional distress, anguish, fear, panic, insomnia, depression, embarrassment and lost income as a result of Carrillo’s conduct and continues to spend money for medical and psychological treatment, counseling and therapy.
Doe also alleges she believed she was about to be raped or otherwise harmed when she heard someone trying to enter her bedroom window.
At his trial, Carrillo testified he went to Doe’s apartment with two beers because he wanted to continue drinking after an evening at a nightclub with his girlfriend and that he hoped to have sex with Doe.
Carrillo also testified he put his hand past a broken corner of the bedroom screen and through the open window but did not peek into any windows of the apartment.
He testified that he was young, had just been re-elected supervisor, had a big ego and was self-centered and foolish.
Carrillo admitted at a Board of Supervisors meeting in August 2013 that he was an alcoholic, had quit drinking and was receiving treatment. He remains on the board.
Carrillo’s attorney Chris Andrian said Doe’s civil suit is “riddled with defects,” including requesting a specific monetary amount of damages.
“You’re not supposed to do that so the defendant doesn’t suffer adverse publicity,” Andrian said.
“This is a money trap,” Andrian said.
Doe’s attorney Rachael Erickson denied the civil suit was a “money grab.”
“That’s not why I filed the suit. We need to give Mr. Carrillo a wake-up call that this behavior won’t be tolerated,” Erickson said. “The criminal justice system has failed and we’re left with civil remedies as the only avenue for justice and money damages to make Jane Doe whole.”
Andrian said he expected the civil suit.
“We met the challenge in criminal court and we will meet the challenge of this one,” he said.
Andrian said he plans to question the woman’s continued anonymity now that the civil suit has been filed.
Erickson said Jane Doe has the right to remain anonymous in the civil suit.
“We will be maintaining her anonymity,” she said.
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